Kansas State University


Extension Entomology

Category: Lawn and Garden

Commercial Applicator Recertification Training Changes for 2020

–by Frannie Miller

Each year in the fall, I plan trainings and look forward to seeing applicators from across the state as they attend these commercial recertification-training programs. This year will look a lot different in terms of training opportunities. Due to the ever presence of Covid, the Kansas State Pesticide Safety Program will be hosting virtual training opportunities through zoom. This will allow the applicator to obtain pest management credits from the safety of his or her home or office. I have heard from some applicators that feel they are technologically challenged, but don’t let that keep you from trying a new way of learning. The team is here to help you every step of the way!

The Kansas State Pesticide Safety Program is hosting training on the following dates:

  • October 20 – 21 (9:20 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.) (1:20 p.m. -3:30 p.m.) Right-of-Way, Industrial Weed, and Noxious Weed Training (Category 6, 7C, & 9A)
  • November 2 (12:30 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.) and November 3 (8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Stored Product Pests and Seed Treatment (Category 7B & 4)
  • November 4 (9:20 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.) Ornamental, Turf and Interiorscape (Category 3A, 3B, & 3C)
  • November 9 (8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) Ag Plant (Category 1A)
  • November 10 (8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) Structural and Public Health (Category 7D, 7E & 8)
  • November 10 (12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.) Core Hour
  • November 12 (8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) Wood Destroying and Wood Preservation (Category 7A & 7F)
  • November 12 (12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.) Core Hour
  • November 13 (8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) Forest Pest, Ornamental, Turf and Interiorscape (Category 2, 3A, 3B & 3C)

Flyers containing the registration information can be found on the Pesticide Safety and IPM webpage at: https://www.ksre.k-state.edu/pesticides-ipm/commercial-applicator.html. If you use Facebook, you may want to consider liking the Kansas State Pesticide Safety and IPM program page, which can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/KSRE-Pesticide-Safety-and-Integrated-Pest-Management-Program-109039044075447.

Other groups or associations may be hosting other training opportunities. A complete list can be found at: https://portal.kda.ks.gov/PAF/PafTraining/TrainingEventList.

If you don’t remember how many credits you have or need, you can look up your training status at: https://portal.kda.ks.gov/paf/pafapplicator/login/

If you have further questions, regarding how this training will be conducted contact Frannie Miller at (620)241-1523 or e-mail fmiller@ksu.edu.

Large Milkweed Bug

–by Dr. Raymond Cloyd

We are receiving inquiries regarding the large milkweed bug, Oncopeltus fasciatus, nymphs and adults feeding on the seed pods of milkweed (Asclepias spp) plants (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Large Milkweed Bug Adults And Nymphs Feeding On Milkwee Seed Pod (Raymond Cloyd, KSU)

Large milkweed bug adults are 9/16 to 5/8 inches (10 to 18 mm) in length, with black and orange markings on the body (Figure 2).



Figure 2. Large Milkweed Bug Adult (Raymond Cloyd, KSU)

There are five nymphal instars before becoming adults. Females lay eggs on milkweed seed pods or in crevices between the seed pods. Females can lay up to 30 eggs per day and approximately 2,000 over her lifetime, which is about one month in the summer. The adults contain toxic compounds that are obtained from the plant fluids during feeding, which protects them from predators. Large milkweed bugs cause minimal damage to milkweed plants and are present for a short period. Large milkweed bugs overwinter as adults. There may be one to several generations per year in Kansas



Threestriped Blister Beetle

–by Dr. Raymond Cloyd

The threestriped blister beetle, Epicauta lemniscata, is an insect pest that feeds on a wide-range of vegetable crops including: bean, beet, carrot, cabbage, corn, eggplant, melon, mustard, pea, pepper, potato, radish, spinach, squash, tomato, and turnip. Adults are slender, brown to yellow-gray, 1/2 to 3/4 (12.7 to 19.0 mm) inches long, with approximately five black stripes extending lengthwise on the wing covers or abdomen (Figure 1). In addition, there are two spots on the head and two black stripes on the thorax (middle section of body). The thorax is narrower than the head and abdomen, which is a distinguishing morphological characteristic used for identification of blister beetles.


Figure 1. Threestriped Blister Beetle Adult (Raymond Cloyd, KSU)

In general, adults are present from May through October. The adults are active in the morning and late afternoon, and seek shelter during mid-day to minimize exposure to sunlight. Females lay clusters of 100 to 2,000 eggs in the soil. Larvae emerge (eclose) from eggs and feed on grasshopper eggs. Eventually, the larvae transition into pupae. The threestriped blister beetle overwinters as a late-instar larva in the soil. In spring, adults emerge from the soil and feed on vegetable plants causing damage by consuming leaf tissue with their chewing mouthparts. They tend to aggregate in groups when feeding (Figure 2). There are two generations per year in Kansas.


Figure 2. Threestriped Blister Beetle Adults Feeding (Raymond Cloyd, KSU)

Management of threestriped blister beetle adult populations involves placing floating row covers over susceptible vegetable crops ensuring that the sides are fastened down to prevent adults from crawling underneath the floating row cover. Physical removal by hand-picking may be effective; however, be sure to wear leather gloves because adults emit a substance called cantharidin, which protects them from attack by predators, but can cause blisters to form on the skin of humans. Removing weeds within the vegetable garden will eliminate potential alternative food sources; especially pigweed, Amaranthus spp., which is highly susceptible to adult feeding. Foliar applications of insecticides will kill threestriped blister beetle adults; however, multiple applications will be required during the growing season to prevent plant damage.


ID to last week’s bug

–by Frannie Miller

Tiger Beetle: This Punctured Tiger beetle is attracted to ultraviolet light, so I was able to capture this image under the lights of a tennis match. This species tends to be dull colored with a few small spots. Tiger beetles tend to be extremely quick in their movements making it challenging to get pictures. The feeding habits of the adult and larvae stage make them somewhat beneficial.

Golden Garden Spider

–by Dr. Raymond Cloyd

This is the time of year when we see the golden garden spider, Argiope aurantia, in landscapes, gardens, and in unmanaged areas. Golden garden spiders are 1.0 inch (25.4 mm) long, with black and yellow markings on the abdomen, and a silvery cephalothorax (combination of head and thorax) (Figure 1). The spider typically hangs with the head positioned downward in the center of a web that has vertical crossed zigzag bands (Figure 2).


Figure 1. Golden garden spider (Raymond Cloyd, KSU)


Figure 2. Golden garden spider in web. Note the vertical zigzag bands in the web (Raymond Cloyd, KSU)

Golden garden spiders find prey in their webs by sensing vibrations as prey try to escape. Spiders capture grasshoppers in their webs and then wrap them in fine silk (Figure 3). Golden garden spiders typically build webs in open areas instead of inside the canopy of trees and shrubs or inside shelters. The other species in Kansas is the banded argiope spider, Argiope trifasciata, that does not have distinct black markings on the top of the abdomen. However, thin black transverse lines may be present.

Figure 3. Golden garden spider wrapping a grasshopper in silk (Raymond Cloyd, KSU)